Some time ago, I found myself in the middle of a debate on how to behave towards other people. I mentioned the need for respect towards other people and that one should express oneself well and carefully by choosing one’s words without being hurtful.
My counterpart responded: “I just am who I am.”
This statement was very disappointing to me at that moment, showing a lack of respect and making it clear that there was a complete unwillingness to make a necessary change.
Unwillingness to change also means that one is not prepared to look at one’s reflection in the mirror to examine oneself, and to alter existing faults.
Conducting one’s life in such a way shows an utter indifference to other fellow human beings and a lack of concern for the behavior towards them, and such a person has no place in the Kingdom of God, for he literally would stop at nothing, thus making himself hideous. His heart is cold, and he will not find true peace in this cruel world; something that Christ wants to give us.
In Romans 12:2, Paul wrote: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
This is precisely what we are to do as true Christians: We must critically examine ourselves to see if there is not some bad characteristic clinging to or in us that needs to be banned from our lives. It does not matter how long we have been part of the Body of Christ, regardless of whether we have been converted Christians for 10, 20, 40 or even more than 50 years.
Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians, chapter 13 and verse 5: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? – unless indeed you are disqualified.” There is simply no age limit for this since self-examination is a lifelong process.
Being respectful to our fellow human beings, and showing kindness and helpfulness, is a huge responsibility that God bestows upon us, especially among true Christians. If we develop such respect for others, God will be very pleased with us. And how to cultivate such respect is explained by David in his Psalms: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever” (Psalm 111:10).
Christ expects us to interact properly with our fellow human beings, and He is the supreme role model for us that ever walked the earth as a human being, for He set an example of what is good and had it written down for the end time, for He was the light of the world (compare John 8:12). He also taught several times, that “[n]o one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light” (Luke 11:33). And He also tells us: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).
It is everyone’s own decision, how bright and beautiful this light is radiating from us; however, we must ensure that it glows powerfully both within and out of us. When it does shine brightly within us and people recognize this, then we will be beautiful to look at, for this beauty does indeed come from within us!
Initial Translation: Daniel Blasinger